May 27, 2014

catching up

 As you might imagine this weekend was a bit up and down for me emotionally.   When we were still in Illinois, if I was not working, I went along with DJ to decorate the graves of his parents and paternal grandparents.  His dad's only sibling passed away the year after we moved down here and he is buried in the same cemetery as his parents.  Anyway,  DJ usually only went back to Illinois every other year in recent years.  I found a way back even if he didn't go and if it was around Memorial Day, I did the honors for him.

Of course this year, it is DJ that is gone.  I asked my parents if they would see that there were some flowers for him. I'm too far away and DJ is buried in our plot in central Illinois.   Dad found this mandavilla plant and then found out AFTER it was planted that they should have gotten permission to do so.  I told him it was probably better to plead ignorance at this point and ask for forgiveness (or something to that effect.)  At some point (next trip back)  I will have to figure out what to do for a marker.

It is just hard, some days more than others.  How I miss the love of my life.  I'm still finding my way obviously and will for some time to come.

Let's move on, shall we?

It being a holiday yesterday, my friend Cher was off and we could sew and chat on messenger even though I was not the best of company.  I DID get my picnic quilt flimsy finished which was my main objective.  Woohoo there, right?

I had been mulling over how I was going to quilt since in the past I had always used that big office desk on my left side to spread out and distribute the weight of the quilt when it was under the needle.  That desk is across the hall now.  The computer desk is narrower but also two inches higher  up.  The main problem before was that there was very little room to get in and out of the room with the pressing/cutting table in permanent position on the opposite wall.  If I put the table in front for the forward table would that back me up too far against it??   Answer: NO.    Can I still get at the computer keyboard?  Answer:  I think so but it depends on how far I have to shift the sewing table to the right.

 If the sewing machine stays on top it doesn't much matter BUT when I quilt, it goes down in the recessed area with the appropriate table insert to accommodate whatever machine I want to use, normally the Viking.

So how much room do I have on the opposite side?  I had already done a reconnaisse mission to see if they had a similar table to the one I have used for years and what the measurements were.
I needed 20 inches in width and my workable area, right next to the TV stand that is currently TV-less, was about 25-26 inches.

So I moved my little table to the side leaving the machine table in place to be sure it would work.   Looks like there is enough room for my light source if it doesn't get in the way the quilt.  I used to always pull the desk swing lamp over towards the machine and then use a smaller lamp on the sewing table to the right of the needle.   I think this will be okay.  I am going to do the wall hanging first anyway, the picnic quilt right after.  I'll definitely need the other table for the larger piece.

Bama Belles met today.  I went over about an hour earlier than I normally arrive as I had two personal quilts to pin and because both were bigger than our usual output, I would be hogging the table too much.  It would worked but it turned out I had started down a little too low on the first pinning and had to pull them all out and start over.  Thankfully I had not closed first.  Beverly and Lois each had tops to pin too.

This sweet little 3-D bowtie was turned in by Beverly.  Cute, huh?  One of my favorite blocks to make for donation quilts really.  Bev was really intrigued by the dimensional fold so I can see we need to show her how to do this at the next meeting!!  Belles has been doing bowties for years but you kind of forget who joined when and some things were covered some time back---new to her.

I learned how using Debby Kratovil's 3-D bow tie instructions. By now there is probably You Tube instructions and the whole bit but this is one I have always used as my go-to guide.   and the graphics for doing this is here at

Once you learn how and get past the only tricky part of lining the sections up once you open up the knot, it is really just sewing a 4 patch.   I know better than to try to do this on my Brother that bulks at too much thickness though, LOL.  Tempermental machine when it comes to bulk.

I think I mentioned that one of our members will be relocating out of state in a few months.  Rosa came today with books and fabrics to share.  One bag had a bunch of fat quarters, some of it Christmas, some of it 30's prints (well you know who got that stash!  me).   I know that some of it went to good homes today.  Julie has plans for making another couple foundation pieced Christmas trees and some of those were good choices for her, especially the greens.  Another group also has done a Christmas block exchange for several years, don't know if they still do but who can't use some fabrics for the holidays??  I also came home with a bag of batik scraps as I also have some of Lois' leftover batiks from one of her previous donation quilts so the two should combine.  I took a good look at the pile of fat quarters and said that maybe we could make some rail fence blocks for some group made quilts with it since a good bit of coordinated.   Normally we would have had a sew-in date in late April but that sort of fell by the wayside this year for various reasons.   I put the bag in the closet for the time being.  THX again Rosa for your generosity!

 What I had in mind really was a quilt I had pinned recently.
 The pinned quilt link had one kitted up, no doubt using a jelly roll or some such thing.   We have fabrics that would work and could make use of the donation fabrics if the girls are up for a sewing session or want to do this as an ongoing.  Of course we could do the more traditional version with prints on the outside and light in the middle.  We'll see how it shakes out.  

Guess that is it for now.  It is extremely humid out there but there is a dog outside that needs to take a walk before he comes in for the evening.  With me being gone and leaving early we will only go twice today instead of 3 or 4.  There is a chance of thunderstorms for the next 4 days so he may be in more than out if that happens.

OH, I forgot to say that Glynda found homes for the kittens.  She and her daughter-in-law went over to Walmart with them on Saturday.  The yellow tabby male went to a young boy who wanted to give him to his sister who had just graduated high school---unclear if he cleared that with his parents first, LOL.  Then a man was talking with them about the kitties, being low maintenance, what did they eat, etc.  He took the other 3 the calico, the white one and the little black male.  His wife was still in the store and wondered how they would get them home.  Glynda had thrown in the carrier as it was an extra they had in storage.  Poor Mama Kitty was just crying yesterday looking for her babies though they were essentially weaned and eating kitten chow she still was nursing a bit, I guess.  And Mama kitty is going to be fixed as soon as we can get her in----there is a program that transports them to the BHM area where they do the procedure but we have to have her at Picketts Feed and Pet Supplies at 630 in the morning and they bring them back the next day around 1230 for our county.  There days are the 2nd and 4th Mondays---and we just missed one due to the holiday.  I have offered to pay part of the costs since she is the neighborhood cat.  No more kittens are needed.

Okay that is really all for now.  Till next time----thx for stopping by.

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